At this year’s annual forum on ethical leadership, Saint Mary’s honors Great Clips’ innovative leader and newly retired CEO.  

MINNEAPOLIS – Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota will honor Rhoda Olsen, former CEO and current vice chair of the board of Great Clips, with the 2018 Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership at this year’s Hendrickson Forum. The Tuesday, April 24, 2018, event, “Innovation Culture,” is presented by Saint Mary’s Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership and will feature a keynote address by author, business owner, and renowned leadership speaker Dr. Jackie Freiberg.

“We are thrilled to honor Rhoda as our Hendrickson Medal recipient,” says Audrey Kintzi, Saint Mary’s vice president for development and alumni relations who leads the Hendrickson Forum. “She is a wonderfully kind individual whose contributions to Great Clips are too numerous to count. Under her leadership, the organization implemented innovative technologies to completely transform the customer experience. Just as Dr. Freiberg suggests leaders should do, Rhoda established a culture of innovation and leveraged it to yield an action-oriented strategy that would position Great Clips well ahead of its competition.”

At the helm of Great Clips Rhoda Olsen championed online and mobile check-in for customers, allowing them to see wait times for haircuts and be added to salon waitlists before arriving. Olsen also developed a robust customer database that alerts stylists of customers’ preferences, ensuring a consistent experience for the customer each and every time – no matter the location or stylist.

Olsen began at Great Clips in 1984, was named president in 1998, and promoted to CEO in 2011. She led Great Clips from 1,000 salons in 1998 to 4,200 salons at the end of 2017. She has more than 30 years of executive leadership experience in numerous positions at Great Clips as well as prior experience in human resources, business leadership, and consulting at various companies.

Past medal recipients include Inge Thulin of 3M, Mary Brainerd of HealthPartners, and more. Nominees for the Hendrickson Medical for Ethical Leadership have made significant contributions to the Twin Cities community and exhibit ethical leadership that is globally oriented and innovative or creative; citizenship that significantly improves the lives of others’ appreciation for diverse ideas and perspectives; and a commitment to inspiring emerging leaders.

This year’s Hendrickson Forum will feature a keynote address from Jackie Freiberg, author, business owner, and renowned leadership speaker. Recognized as one of the Top 30 Minds on Leadership by Leadership Excellence Magazine, Freiberg helps companies foster work environments where their employees can do their best work. Freiberg is the co-author of seven award-winning books, including NUTS!, the international bestseller describing Southwest Airlines’ leadership, culture, and profitability; GUTS!; BOOM!; NANOVATION!; Do Something Now!; and Be a Person of Impact!; and most recently, CAUSE! A Business Strategy for Standing Out in A Sea of Sameness. To learn more about Jackie, visit www.smumn.edu/hendrickson.

At the Hendrickson Forum, Freiberg will discuss how organizations can harness innovation in a new way. Focusing on three critical roles for organizational success (notice, lead, and disrupt), Freiberg’s keynote will empower attendees to take on these roles and begin taking advantage of opportunities to transform new ideas into real solutions.

The Hendrickson Forum is a luncheon event, held this year on Tuesday, April 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., with check-in and networking beginning at 11 a.m., at the Saint Mary’s University Center on the Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus on Park Avenue in Minneapolis. The program also includes a presentation of the Hendrickson Medal for Ethical Leadership. The event is open to the public and general admission tickets are $50 per person, which includes lunch. Advance registration is required. More information and online registration is available at www.smumn.edu/HendricksonForum.

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